LONDON — Despite predictions of a post-Brexit surge, the number of leisure tourists coming to the UK has declined for the second consecutive month, according to the British Hospitality Association Travel Monitor.
The BHA Travel Monitor, launched by the British Hospitality Association last month, reveals that inbound holiday passengers visiting the UK are in decline while outbound holiday passengers are increasing, suggesting a worrying trend for the domestic UK tourism and leisure industry, according to the organization. “Some predictions claimed that the fall in the price of sterling after the EU referendum would lead to an increase in visitors to the UK but the BHA Travel Monitor can today reveal this to be incorrect.”
There are 450,000 fewer holiday passengers year to date versus the same period in 2015 compared with the 400,000 drop reported in the first Travel Monitor last month.
The BHA Travel Monitor, published monthly and quarterly, also highlights a year-on-year decrease in overall UK holiday spend by overseas visitors while UK spend overseas is up over 10% YTD.
“We launched The BHA Travel Monitor so that we can provide, through detailed and structured analysis of passenger data, a true picture of hospitality and tourism performance. Our analysis has shown that there is increasing pressure on the industry through lower inbound holiday passengers and higher outbound holiday passengers,” said Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the BHA.
With political and economic uncertainty increasing it is more important than ever to ensure UK tourism can compete, she added, noting that the UK continues to have on average twice the tourism VAT rate across Europe.
“The BHA Travel Monitor sets a worrying trend for the short term future of the hospitality and tourism industry which, as the fourth largest sector employing 4.49 million people, is crucial to the UK economy.”